• Architecture
  • Arts

Ikon Gallery, Birmingham


In the 1990’s, Argent bought a 17 acre swathe of derelict land in Birmingham with plans to transform it into a vibrant mixed-use quarter: Brindleyplace. Amongst the abandoned buildings, only one of quality remained – the Grade ll listed former Oozells Street School. We were commissioned to restore, stabilise and repair the building fabric, which was in very poor condition. Soon after, Ikon Gallery received funding to convert the school into its new home.

We collaborated with artist Tania Kovats throughout the design process. The most obvious manifestation of her involvement is the way the building sits on a slate plinth – making the gallery itself a work of art within the environment. Externally, we restored the building back to its former gothic glory and added a new glazed extension. Inside, the old classrooms were replaced with galleries that needed to be as flexible as possible to accommodate a range of artists and exhibits.

For more details, read our Project Story.

Project Details:

Restoring an old Victorian school to create a stunning gallery within a new urban quarter.

Client: Ikon Gallery, Brindleyplace PLC

Construction Value: £4.7m

Completion: 1997

Location: Birmingham


  • Civic Trust Awards 2000: Winner
  • Brick Awards 2000, Refurbishment Category: Winner
  • RIBA Awards 1999: Winner
  • Royal Fine Art Commission Trust 1999, Building of the Year Award: Winner
  • Institution of Civil Engineers' Midlands Association 1998, Project Award: Winner

Image: Martine Hamilton Knight